Sunday was another day of NFL football. Players, politicians and fans voiced their opinions about the ongoing national anthem protests controversy. There was no shortage of emotion on both sides of the issue.
It has been one week since the president ignited a social media firestorm to ask fans to boycott the NFL. That request came after some football players were seen kneeling during the national anthem. As more football games began Sunday, President Trump doubled down, but this time with support from others.
The president tweeted Saturday night hoping for a change in players’ behavior. He wrote, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”
Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
Many teams sparked the feud after kneeling or sitting during the anthem to symbolize social and racial injustices happening across the country. As the controversy entered its second week, echoes of support came from the president’s fellow party leaders. In an interview with Face the Nation, House Speaker Paul Ryan said there needs to be distinct, separate conversations between the two sides who are not understanding each other.
“Clearly people have a right to express themselves however they want to. But what so many Americans see, is you’re disrespecting the idea of America that we want to make this free country a more perfect union and that people died and fought and survived to protect it,” Ryan said. “So, they don’t see the point that they’re trying to make.”
Ryan was not the only one to share his thoughts and agree with President Trump. During a press conference on Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave his opinion about the recent NFL kneeling protests. He said he believes the Dallas Cowboys protested correctly when they kneeled before the anthem and then stood up during the anthem.
“I have no problem with people protesting. But I do think that it’s a problem when the protest shows a disrespect for the flag and for our national anthem,” Christie explained.
Despite the call for change, some NFL players did not back down. Oakland Raiders Running back Marshawn Lynch was spotted wearing a shirt that said, “everybody vs. Trump.”
Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch wearing an "Everybody vs Trump" T-shirt: pic.twitter.com/7aiCUbjLUD— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 1, 2017
While some teams continued to kneel or sit during the anthem, the Baltimore Ravens made their statement before the anthem. Players and coaches took time to pray for the nation to embrace kindness, unity, equality and justice for all Americans. Even though there was not protesting happening during the anthem, plenty of fans were still unhappy to see them make a statement on the field.
Before the national anthem, the Ravens took a knee.
Fans booed. pic.twitter.com/yfLecHZYTr— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 1, 2017